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Investments in Riga Port

By Editor. 08.09.2009

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Several hundred million lats will be invested in the Freeport of Riga in the next few years, predicts the port's board chairman, Ainars Slesers.

Slesers says that port's turnover will increase from the present 30 million tons to 50 million tonsper year in four years' time. To achieve the target, money will be invested in the port by the state, with the help of the European Union's structural funds, as well as by the private investors.

Authority said that he is perplexed why development of ports has not been set a priority in Latvia. "The state will exit the crisis if the ports are given priority. This is one of the businesses that continue successful development at this time, and money must be invested in ports to promote their development," said Slesers. Slesers also said that ports do not receive enough co-financing from the state for utilization of the EU funds.

Ports give jobs to thousands of people, and even more thousands in other, related sectors, for instance, the railroad, said Slesers. Experts estimate that the state earns LVL 10 from each ton handled at Latvian ports, he said, adding that, after the turnover of the Freeport of Riga is increased, the state will be earning LVL 500 million a year from the Riga Port.

According to Slesers, many new terminals will be built at the port, and the port's infrastructure will be improved. The port will be gradually moved away from downtown Riga toward the sea. Prospective investors in the C.I.S. countries will be addressed to attract more cargo and investments to the port.




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